Some interesting observations from a SurveyUSA poll on Californians (N = 909):
– Trump’s approval rating in California is 30% approve, 60% disapprove. That compares unfavorably to his putative national approval rating of 37% approve, 58% disapprove. Trump’s approval is only 9 points worse in a state he lost by 29 points than it is in the entire country? He lost the national popular vote by 2. Something doesn’t add up.
I think this is indicative of the country being so disunited, those living in it so antagonistic towards so much of the rest of the population, that we’ve now reached a point where it’s conceivable that no elected national politician ever cracks the 50% approval mark. With a couple of brief exceptions in 2012 and after Trump won the 2016 election, even the lord savior Obama couldn’t manage it after his first few months in office in 2008. Until hard political dissolution occurs, every president is facing the prospect of being underwater from the outset and remaining there for the duration of the presidency.
Reelections will still be able to occur within that framework, though. The upside is that Trump’s low reported approval rating will not preclude a second term.
– Of the seven hypothetical 2020 presidential election matchups presented, Trump fares better in every one of them than he ended up faring against Hillary in the state in 2016. His toughest opponent is Tom Hanks (!), followed closely by Oprah. The matchups against politicians Kristen Gillibrand, Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, and Eric Garcetti are all tighter. A couple of Current Years ago, we couldn’t elect Trump because he wasn’t qualified, he didn’t have the political experience! How expediency times change.
Some will see this as a slide towards idiocracy, others as a refreshing rejection of the quotidian political establishment. I lean towards the latter. Your mileage will vary.
– The following graph shows the percentages who say “certain speech is okay to silence” subtracted from the percentages who say free speech is an “absolute right”, by selected demographic characteristics:
As goes California so goes the country? It is often said that leftists are the new authoritarians, but survey data pretty consistently shows liberals as the strongest proponents of free speech, at least in an abstract sense. This is the first quantitative treatment of free speech I’ve seen where conservatives come off as stronger proponents of free speech than liberals (and moderates) do.
Even more jarring is the inverse relationship between educational attainment and support for free speech. That definitely indicates a break from the past. The idea that academia is a place for the open exchange of ideas is an anachronism. It has become a place of intellectual indoctrination, not of intellectual exploration.
The relatively strong Hispanic showing is curious, as free speech has historically been a white thing. Middle American whites are an endangered species in California, so it’s hard to extrapolate to the rest of the country from this.
Black and female opposition to free speech is par for the course, however.
– By a 3-to-1 margin, white respondents who have an opinion on the wall–it’s worth noting that half of respondents think a wall would make no difference one way or another–say it would make them feel safer. Blacks and Asians are also slightly more likely than not to say they’d feel safer with a wall. Hispanics, in contrast, say they’d feel less safe, presumably because said wall would presage a step up in deportations as well. If only!
– Diversity is strength… it’s also idleness. The percentages of respondents who have never been employed, by race:
The WASP work ethic is so 1950s.